Two instructors- Good or bad idea?

So I’m in college which means I have limited resources and am always trying to think of ways to save. I’m also a semi-beginner rider so I can’t offer legitimate exercise rides in exchange for time in the saddle. I have been around horses all my life though and can clean stalls, tack, feed, blanket, etc. in exchange for rides, but those situations are a little harder to find. Anyway I did find one I think is going to work out (I meet with the woman on Monday to see for sure). All this aside, I have an instructor/trainer I work with now who I pay for lessons and adore. She’s awesome, we get along great, and I really feel like I’m learning a lot. What I really want to do is be able to take lessons from both of them, but I’m a little worried about conflicting teaching styles, riding styles, etc. I haven’t had a lesson from the other woman yet but in general I know people have a specific way they like to do things. I don’t want to offend either one of them or confuse myself. I’m considering asking the work-ride woman if she would mind just giving me lunge lessons. That way I can improve my seat and I figure any instruction given in that area can generally only help. Alternately I can just tool around the ring on one of her beginner safe horses and practice my seat on my own. Any other suggestions out there? Thanks in advance!

I’m a little unclear…one instructor you pay, the other is going to arrange to trade work for riding lessons?

I would think your situation is unique…as you won’t be paying the second instructor, she is offering you something the first instructor can’t, the opportunity to ride and be taught without paying her, in exchange for work.

I would be honest and tell the first instructor the truth…that you plan to keep riding with her, you adore her, but that your limited budget would only allow any additional time in saddle if you trade work for ride or lesson time, and you have found Mrs. X at Y barn who agreed to that, so on Thursdays (or whatever days), you will be doing some additional riding or lessons at Y barn in exchange for cleaning stalls there.

Lunge lessons are an excellent idea, but you are working for the time to ride or lessons, and it is your time so take advantage of it as you see fit.
If the instructor is a decent human she will be happy for you!

Before you tie yourself in knots. Ride with the lady, plan on learning things from a different angle. Sometimes different instructors say the same thing differently. If you find too much of a difference between thir teachings, then ask your originak instructor to help sort it out.

What is important is that you have the ability w/ both trainers to raise your hand and say "hey, I’m a bit confused…Styles can be different, but the messages should be pretty much the same, perhaps with some adjustment for the horse you are riding. I ride w/ two trainers, one who is here in winter and one in summer. The biggest difference I find is that one is more focused on me, my position and the technique of my aids. The other is more focused on the
horse and my timing of the aids.
I would look at this as an opportunity to grow your skill set and see how trainers can vary, and have the opportunity to ride more horses. You may be surprised at what you like or don’t like. Have fun.

I’m a little unclear…one instructor you pay, the other is going to arrange to trade work for riding lessons?


Make sure both instructors know what is going on. Some can get very territorial about “their” students and the last thing you want is a nasty fall out in six months or a year when they find out about the other instructor. And they will; the horse world is small.

That said, I’ve never had a problem riding with multiple instructors as long as everyone was clear from the beginning about the situation.

As far as teaching styles, you’re just going to have to see how the second one teaches. Maybe they will be similar and a great fit, or maybe they will be somewhat different but still very complimentary. If it turns out their approaches are flat-out contradictory, you will need to reevaluate the situation – but there’s no need to stress about that until you see what the second instructor is like.